Chimärendämmerung (De Stijl)

At Hoopples several weeks back, Glenn Schwartz's bass-playin' bro couldn't get his rig working. So Glenn tore into this 20-minute, free-form guitar solo, an atonal-blues mindfuck that went places both Hendrix and Sonny Sharrock have been. They're places guitarist Matthew Bower also visits.

To most rockers, though -- even the serious heads who understood where Schwartz was going that night -- Bower's work as one-half of Hototogisu will probably sound like a lightning-tipped drill ripping into electrified sheet metal. And they've got a point. Where Schwartz speaks through hard rock, blues, jazz, and a whole lotta distortion, the five extended tracks that make up Chimärendämmerung find Bower building über-modern guitar rock from industrial grit, high-art minimalism, shoegazing, and . . . a whole lotta distortion. But these differences are nothing more than surface noise. What both dudes are doing is this: transforming their axes into howling mediums for all the thunder, feedback, and confusion that courses through their bodies. And just like Schwartz and his weekly engagements at Hoopples, Bower should only be consumed once every seven days; he's that intense.

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